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Hockey Canada Scandal Claims Exec’, While Teams Find Success

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Hockey Canada, 2018
World Juniors 2018 Gold Medal winning Team Canada.

These days it’ll always come across with glaring contrast. Hockey Canada announces a win or a final, while also having to deal with its ongoing controversies.

The latest dichotomy arrived via press release on Friday and Saturday.

First,  ‘Hockey Canada Media Recap’.

RED DEER, Alta. – Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team booked their ticket to the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup gold medal game, with a 4-1 win over Finland on Friday night.

The news piece goes on to list the goal scorers, those with assists, and mentions Alberta native, goalie Scott Ratzlaff making 23 saves for his third victory of the tournament.

By the way, right wing Matthew Wood from Nanaimo was one of the goal scorers and left wing Andrew Cristall from Burnaby added an assist.

The Gold Medal game between Canada and Sweden takes place late Saturday afternoon.

Oh Yeah …

And then this arrived Saturday morning.

CALGARY, Alta. – Yesterday evening, Michael Brind’Amour informed the Hockey Canada Board of Directors he will be stepping down as Chair, effective immediately.

The release went on to remind us of a few things.

As an organization, we know we have work to do to elevate the expectations we have for everyone in hockey and to effect positive behaviour from the grassroots to the national team level.

The Hockey Canada Board of Directors and Members will meet in the coming days to determine next steps and to appoint an interim Chair.

But what of the investigations regarding the 2018 and 2003 Team Canada World Juniors alleged sexual assaults? Part of that came on Thursday.

Investigations

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada is announcing the Honourable Thomas Cromwell, C.C. (a former Supreme Court Justice) will lead an independent review of the organization’s governance structures and systems. This work, undertaken on behalf of the organization’s board of directors, is an integral part of Hockey Canada’s Action Plan.

Since 1914, Hockey Canada has been the organization that Canadians have trusted to lead, develop and promote positive hockey experiences.

Recent events have called that trust into question. This is of very real concern to our Board of Directors who, as volunteers, have worked diligently to deliver on its mission in a responsible way, including through the recent launch of an Action Plan to, among other things, elevate the expectations we have for everyone in hockey and effect positive behaviour from the grassroots to the national team level.

Necessary concept and nifty public relations, but something’s missing.

No word on the re-opened police investigations in London, Ontario (2018) or Halifax (2003) specifically, or on the Hockey Canada independent investigations, but then again, ‘these things take time’. Notifications from former players scrambling to plead innocence, ignorance, or absence at the time of the alleged scandalous and potentially criminal events have subsided.

Early in the week, TSN reported: The woman who filed a lawsuit against Hockey Canada over an alleged group sexual assault recently passed a polygraph examination, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Meanwhile …

The overshadowed 2022 World Junior Championship begins Tuesday in Edmonton.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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